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Bergamo: the Social construction of the phyisical city

The course focuses on the social, economic and spatial organisation of the city, the major urban development projects under way or planned, and critically discuss the paradigm that has guided strategic choices in the development of the physical city and the social city in the last two decades. It also seeks to analyse the factors influencing the city’s development in the next decade. To develop comparative skills, the first part of the course will present the development trajectories of some European cities and illustrate the elements that define the European model of the city.



Urban Strategies: Projects and Effects

Urban transformation projects – both large and small ones – have an aesthetic-formal dimension that is at the core of learning process of architects. Yet urban transformation projects are expected to have – and indeed have – social (and economic) effects that are proposed as the rational justification for their implementation (and these effects are often not to be separated from the aesthetic-formal qualities of the project itself). The analysis of the social (and economic) effects of urban transformation projects requires a specific conceptual framework and methodology, which should permit to highlight the interaction in space and time with the other changes taking in place in the city. By focusing on some large and small urban transformation projects being currently implemented – or just implemented – in Milan , the course will introduce the students to the field of the social assessment of projects and to their capacity to shape the urban development strategy.


The Contemporary City: Economy and Society

How do social scientists study the contemporary city? Which methodologies, categories, theories – and with which scientific aims – do social scientists express and understand the urban structures and processes – and become aware of the profound differences in time and space of cities’ society, economy and spatial organisation? To answer these basic questions is the prevailing objective of the course. By making use of elementary tools of visual representation and analysis, the socio-economic structure and spatial organisation of contemporary city will be examined. By moving from the analysis of representative cities from different regions of the world, a classification of cities in terms of ideal-types will be proposed and discussed. To understand that cities are systems continuously changing their social structure and how that influences the ‘urban design process’ will be one of the aims of the course.